The icky truth about bedbugs (viewer discretion advised)

Marco Uliana/Shutterstock
Marco Uliana/Shutterstock

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□ THE DISGUSTING TRUTH ABOUT BEDBUGS

It’s become a rite of summer for the talking heads on the local news programs: a hysteria-inducing hotel bedbug epidemic story. The teary tales of vacations ruined, the zooms on the tiny red welts, and the infographic of the life cycle of the tiny invaders whose Latin name, Cimex lectularius, makes them sound like villains in a summer blockbuster. It makes for must-see TV, but what should you believe? I exterminate some of the common misconceptions in this month’s National Geographic Traveler column.

□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are cruises safe enough?
Last week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller introduced a new bill that he promises will make cruises safer. What do you think? Are cruises safe enough, or do we need government protection? I’d love to include your comments in my story. As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.

Wanna become the world’s smartest traveler?
I know you do. Then do this now: Pre-order my new book, How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). It’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of the travel industry and save lots of time and money. Details are right here. By the way, if you’re heading out somewhere on a trip and need help with something, I’d be happy to email you a draft of a chapter, whether you order the book or not.

Let’s talk!
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me.

□ POSTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

We’re taking the kids to Vegas – deal with it!
With nicknames like Sin City, the Gambling Capital of the World and a trademark what-happens-here-stays-here reputation, you might think taking your kids to Las Vegas would be a mistake. Like we care. In our family travel blog, we talk about why we’re taking the kids there.

Verizon won’t honor its “Triple Play” gift card offer
Steve Schuster signs up for Verizon service after it offers a bonus of $200 in prepaid Visa gift cards. But the plastic is never delivered, and now Verizon is refusing to pay. What now?

Surrounded by impostors, what’s a consumer to do?
You’re surrounded by fakes. The clothes you wear could be fake. The money you use? Not real, maybe. Even your “friends” on social media are sometimes fake. What’s a consumer to do? I have the answer.

Is this airline downgrade disaster a lost cause?
I’ve been struggling with this case for months and am about to place it in the “can’t be fixed” file. But before I do, I wanted to run it past you. What do you think?

□ MY PARTING SHOT

I can’t wait until Saturday. That’s when we’ll publish our next post from our contributors. Let me tell you, these guest posts are beyond excellent and they are truly helpful. Be sure to tune in on Saturday for our next one!

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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